LISTEN: Empowered on the Radio

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Producer Suzanne McMannis, Director Shira Evergreen, Art Weaver of Renovus Energy (featured in the film), and Guillermo Metz, Coordinator of the Green Building and Renewable Energy Program with Cornell Cooperative Extension, were on Ithaca Community Radio 88.1 WRFI, on Tuesday morning, February 12th discussing Empowered, Renovus Energy, Solar Tour Dryden and Solarize Tompkins SE. You can listen to the show in two parts:

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2/12: Empowered on the Radio

Producer Suzanne McMannis, Director Shira Evergreen, Art Weaver of Renovus Energy (featured in the film), and Guillermo Metz, Coordinator of the Green Building and Renewable Energy Program with Cornell Cooperative Extension, will be heard on Ithaca Community Radio, 88.1 WRFI, on Tuesday morning, February 12th, at 7:00 am.

They will be talking about the possibilities of using the sun to heat your water and to power all things electrical – including your radio! Tune in to learn about the new initiatives Solar Tour Dryden and Solarize Tompkins SE!

Dryden and Caroline Getting Empowered

Town of Dryden residents, under the auspices of DRAC, the Dryden Resource Awareness Coalition, are organizing monthly green house tours to encourage people to explore the many renewable energy options now available. Each month will feature a different home in Dryden where the homeowners have made a commitment to offset at least part of their fossil fuel consumption with alternative energy. The event will allow visitors to see a renewable installation at work and talk with the owners at length about living with the system – cost, efficiency, decision-process. The tours will be open to the public and run year-round. Stay tuned for more details!

In other news, renewable energy advocates in Caroline and Dryden have started work on a campaign to enhance the presence of solar power in their communities. Details are still being worked out. If you are interested in this very exciting renewable energy effort, please contact Energy Independent Caroline for further information.

Cooler Weather Means Energy Efficiency is Essential

As the weather cools down here in Ithaca, NY, energy efficiency is at the forefront in our minds. Now is the time of year that proper insulation and venting can make a huge difference in your energy bill. Or if you’re someone like Cal Walker, who tells the story of battling a huge ice dam on his house in Empowered, it can be a matter of life or death.

In this video clip, you’ll hear Cal Walker of Village at Ithaca and Gay Nicholson of Sustainable Tompkins discussing the very real effects of energy inefficiency in our community.

Applying the Lessons of Empowered to Our Home

Since the premiere of Empowered almost a year ago, my wife Ari (who made the animations) and I have been working on applying the lessons we learned in making the film to our own house. In addition to insulating, sealing, and upgrading appliances, we are now using 20% biodiesel in our furnace and have solar panels installed on our roof. You can learn all about our journey and find out about programs that make these renovations accessible to all through the article I wrote for Tompkins Weekly’s “Signs of Sustainability” series.

Tompkins Weekly, August 20-26, 2012
PDF version: A Model for Creating that ‘Green’ Home, scroll to page 8